Subject: [SocialistWorker.org] What SYRIZA stands for
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======== WHAT SYRIZA STANDS FOR ==============================================
June 6, 2012
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Greece's Coalition of the Radical Left, known as SYRIZA , stunned the world
with its second-place finish in parliamentary elections on May 6, climbing
from small-party status past the main center-left party PASOK, which has
ruled Greece for a majority of the last four decades, and nearly catching the
main conservative party New Democracy. After none of these three parties
could form a governing majority in the new parliament, new elections were set
for June 17, and SYRIZA is predicted to place first or second.
SYRIZA, a coalition of 11 different left-wing organizations along with many
individuals, is massively popular because of its stand against the austerity
measures that have come as conditions--contained in what is called the
"Memorandum"--of the bailout of the Greek financial system by the European
Union, European Central Bank and International Monetary Fund, known together
as the "troika."
The following are SYRIZA's proposals in a document titled "The Exit from the
Crisis Is on the Left."
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*1. Creation of a shield to protect society against the crisis*:
-- Not a single citizen without a guaranteed minimum income or unemployment
benefit, medical care, social protection, housing, and access to all services
of public utilities.
-- Protection of and relief measures for indebted households.
-- Price controls and price reductions, VAT reduction, and abolition of VAT
on basic-need goods.
*2. Disposal of the debt burden*
The national debt is first and foremost a product of class relations, and is
inhumane in its very essence. It is produced by the tax evasion of the
wealthy, the looting of public funds, and the exorbitant procurement of
military weapons and equipment.
We are asking immediately for:
-- A moratorium on debt servicing.
-- Negotiations for debt cancellation, with provisions for the protection of
social insurance funds and small savers. This will be pursued by exploiting
any available means, such as audit control and suspension of payments.
-- Regulation of the remaining debt to include provisions for economic
development and employment.
-- European regulations on the debt of European states.
-- Radical changes to the European Central Bank's role.
-- Prohibition of speculative banking products.
-- A pan-European tax on wealth, financial transactions, and profits.
*3. Income redistribution, taxation of wealth and elimination of unnecessary
-- Reorganization and consolidation of tax collection mechanisms.
-- Taxation of fortunes over 1 million euros and large-scale revenues.
-- Gradual increase, up to 45 percent, of the tax on the distributed profits
of corporations (SA).
-- Taxation of financial transactions.
-- Special taxation on consumption of luxury goods.
-- Removal of tax exemptions for ship owners and the Greek Orthodox Church.
-- Lifting of confidentiality for banking and merchant transactions, and
pursuit of those who evade taxes and social insurance contributions.
-- Banning of transactions carried out through offshore companies.
-- Pursuit of new financial resources through efficient absorption of
European funds, through claims on the payment of German World War II
reparations and occupation loan, and finally via steep reductions in military
*4. Productive social and environmental reconstruction*:
-- Nationalization/socialization of banks, and their integration into a
public banking system under social and workers' control, in order to serve
developmental purposes. The scandalous recapitalization of the banks must
-- Nationalization of all public enterprises of strategic importance that
have been privatized so far. Administration of public enterprises based on
transparency, social control and democratic planning. Support for the
provision of Public Goods.
-- Protection and consolidation of co-operatives and SMEs in the social
-- Ecological transformation in development of energy production,
manufacturing, tourism and agriculture. These reforms will prioritize
nutritional abundance and fulfillment of social needs.
-- Development of scientific research and productive specialization.
*5. Stable employment with decent wages and social insurance*:
The constant degradation of labor rights, coupled with embarrassing wage
levels, does not attract investment, development or employment. Instead, we
are calling for:
-- Well-paid, well-regulated and insured employment.
-- Immediate reconstitution of the minimum wage and reconstitution of real
wages within three years.
-- Immediate reconstitution of collective labor agreements.
-- Instigation of powerful control mechanisms that will protect employment.
-- Systematic opposition of lay-offs and the deregulation of labour
*6. Deepening democracy: Democratic political and social rights for all*:
There is a democratic deficit in the country. Greece is gradually being
transformed into an authoritarian police state. We are calling for:
-- The restoration of popular sovereignty and an upgrade of parliamentary
power within the political system:
>-- Creation of a proportional electoral system
>-- Separation of powers
>-- Revocation of ministerial immunity
>-- Abolishment of economic privileges for MPs
-- Real decentralization to create local government with sound resources and
-- The introduction of direct democracy and institutions of self-management
under workers' and social control at all levels.
-- Measures against political and economic corruption.
-- The solidification of democratic, political, and trade union rights.
-- The enhancement of women's and youths' rights in the family, in
employment, and in public administration.
-- Immigration reforms:
>-- Speeding up the asylum process
>-- Abolition of Dublin II regulations and granting of travel papers to
>-- Social inclusion of immigrants and equal rights protection
-- Democratic reforms to public administration with the active participation
of civil servants.
-- The demilitarization and democratization of the Police and the Coast
Guard. Disbandment of special forces.
*7. Restoration of a strong welfare state*:
Anti-insurance laws, the shutdown of social services, and the steep fall in
social expenditures under the Memorandum have turned Greece into a country
where social injustice reigns. We are in need of:
-- An immediate rescue of the pension system, to include tripartite financing
and the gradual consolidation of separate pension fund portfolios into one
public, universal system of social insurance.
-- A raise in unemployment benefits until the substitution rate reaches 80%
of the wage. No unemployed person is to be left without unemployment
-- The introduction of a guaranteed minimum income.
-- A unified system of comprehensive social protection covering the
vulnerable social strata.
*8. Health is a public good and a social right*:
Health care is to be provided for free and will be financed through a Public
Health System. Immediate measures include:
-- Support and upgrades for hospitals. Upgrade of health infrastructures of
the Social Insurance Institute (IKA). Development of an integrated system of
first-level medical care.
-- Covering the needs of medical treatment in both personnel and equipment,
in part by stopping layoffs.
-- Open and cost-free access to medical treatment for all residents in the
-- Free pharmaceutical treatment and medical examinations for low-income
pensioners, the unemployed, students, and those suffering from chronic
*9. Protection of public education, research, culture and sports from the
With regards to education, we are calling for:
-- Consolidation of universal, public, and free education, including coverage
of its urgent needs in infrastructure and personnel at all three levels.
-- Compulsory 14-year unified education.
-- Revocation of the Diamantopoulou Law.
-- Assurance of self-government for Universities.
-- Preservation of the academic and public character of Universities.
*10. An independent foreign policy committed to the promotion of peace*:
The capitulation of our foreign policy to the desires of the U.S. and the
powerful states of the European Union endangers the country's independence,
peace, and security. We propose:
-- A multi-dimensional and peace-seeking foreign policy.
-- Disengagement from NATO and closure of foreign military bases on Greek
-- Termination of military cooperation with Israel.
-- Aiding the Cypriot people in the reunification of the island.
Furthermore, on the basis of international law and the principle of peaceful
conflict resolution, we will pursue improvements in Greek-Turkish relations,
a solution to the problem of FYROM's official name, and the specification of
Greece's Exclusive Economic Zone.
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THE INCUMBENT economic and social system has failed, and we must overthrow
The economic crisis that is rocking global capitalism has shattered the
illusions. More and more, people understand that capitalist speculation is an
inhuman organizational principle for modern society. It is also widely
acknowledged that the private banks function only for the benefit of the
bankers, harming the rest of the people. Big business and bankers absorb
billions of euros from health care, education and pensions.
An exit from the crisis requires bold measures that will prevent those who
created the crisis from continuing their destructive work. We are endorsing a
new model for the production and distribution of wealth, one that will
include society in its totality. In this respect, large capitalist property
is to be made public and managed democratically along social and ecological
criteria. Our strategic aim is socialism with democracy, a system in which
all will be entitled to participate in the decision-making process.
We are changing the future; we are pushing them into the past!
We can prevail by forging unity and creating a new coalition for power with
the left as a cornerstone. Our strength in this endeavor is the alliance of
the People: the inspiration, the creative effort, and the struggle of the
working people. With these, we will shape the lives and the future of a
Now the vote is in the hands of the People! Now the People have the power!
In this new election, the Greek people can and must vote against the regime
of the Memoranda and the Troika, thus turning over a new page of hope and
optimism for the future.
For Greece and for Europe, the solution is with the Left!
/First published at/ The Bullet .
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